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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Take a casual glance and you might think that this was an Apple Airport Express with slightly sharper edges. It was a good product all things considered, but it runs on the 802.11n standard, with a wireless data rate of 54 Mbps, whereas this TP-LINK N150 offers IEEE 802.11b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/3u protocols, and wireless data rates up to 150Mbps, along with 3G/4G access. In simple terms, the TP-LINK offers throughput equal to or up to almost three times faster than the Apple product... and and offers more bang for the buck, as they say.

The TP-LINK TL-MR3020 3G/4G Wireless N150 Portable Router is one of a number of products bearing the N150 designation, but this one offers the ability to share a 3G/4G mobile connection, wherever 3G/4G coverage is available. It also serves as a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) client router, which allows connection to designated 'hot spots' using a wireless connection. One example would be the wireless connections found in Starbucks and other coffee houses.

This is a well-designed and solid little device, and it's easy to set up if you follow the simple instructions, which are thorough yet easy to follow. Following the PC directions (and the ones for the Mac are similar), I noted the default SSID and default password that were noted on the N150, then plugged the Ethernet cable into my network port. The N150 was plugged into the power outlet in the wall, then looked for the network name on my computer and entered the password. It was that simple, and I had network access.

This TP-LINK Wireless N150 is true plug-and-play in the AP (access point) mode, and that's probably just where I'll leave it for general use. Checked it later with my MacBook Pro, my Kindle Fire HD and even with my Samsung Galaxy S III, and all worked just fine.

For those wishing to get more out of this mini-router, it offers a variety of configurations. Here's a summary of how you can use it:

◆ AP Mode (Default)

This is the default plug and play Access Point mode, where the N150 is connected to your wired network and transforms the wired Internet access into wireless so that multiple devices can share the Internet. This default setting is good in a hotel, an office, and those places where only wired network is available. It's good for small business meetings where a temporary wireless network is needed.

◆ Client Mode:

The N150 is connected to another device via the Ethernet, and acts as an adapter to send and receive the wireless signal from your wireless network. For those wanting access to a smart TV, media player, or game console with an Ethernet port, you can use the it to make your devices Wi-Fi enabled, giving them access to your wireless network.

◆ Repeater Mode:

The N150 copies and reinforces the existing wireless signal to extend the coverage of the signal and the SSID & password don't change. Put it in a good mid-point and this mode can be useful in a large house, office, warehouse or other work spaces where the existing signal is weak.

◆ Bridge Mode:

The N150 borrows existing wireless Internet and broadcasts it using a separate network name (SSID) and password. This application can create two individual networks for two groups of users sharing one Internet connection. Think of it as a way that you can provide Wi-Fi access to your guests or customers without revealing the password of your existing network.

◆ Router Mode:

The N150 is connected to a DSL or cable modem and works as a regular wireless router. If your ISP offers one connection and you have no built-in router, this will allow for connection to your broadband modem and becomes a wireless router for your network.

Summary:

This TP-LINK TL-MR3020 3G/4G Wireless N150 Portable Router is a good product with a powerful range of options, though those who are unfamiliar with wireless networks might be advised to stick with the default AP mode. It provides an excellent solution for those who need more Wi-Fi options or better access to the 'Net while traveling or in client locations. If you stick with the AP mode as noted above for general use, you'll find it to be reliable and efficient, and for a product of this type, the price is quite reasonable. It's deceptively small, yet it does what's expected quite well.

3/28/2013
44 comments|67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 10, 2014
Add some opensource firmware to this guy and you suddenly have a wireless monitor slash controller for your canon DSLR. You can find the free firmware over a dslrfilmnoob dot com. Battery life is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours and distance for camera control in my testing is around 35 to 40 feet line of site. Well worth the $30 for canon dslr owners.
66 comments|86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 8, 2012
This little portable router worked perfectly, with the setup minimal. Only thing missing was a case or pouch to carry it.

I went to Las Vegas recently with my Nexus 7 tablet, which does not have a wired ethernet port. I also assumed that some of the hotels in Vegas still had wired internet connections in their rooms. My stay was at the Monte Carlo, which only has the wired connection in the room. So I plugged cable into this router in the Access Point mode, which in turn sends out wi-fi signals that my Nexus7 picked up. A couple of tabs on the Nexus7 to accept the hotels terms, etc. and I had internet access. I was able to check my emails, etc. in my room. Since the hotel charges you a daily fee which includes Internet access, might as well put it to good use.

So this TP-Link router worked as advertised. Plug in the required cables, setup was almost automatic, and instant wi-fi connection to the Internet. The price was great too.
0Comment|55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 30, 2013
I was trying to avoid purchasing the expensive WT-5A ($599) that Nikon suggests using to control/view a Nikon D4 camera. I came across this and rolled the dice. After several hours I finally got it to work with my Nikon D4. Just make sure the router is in AP mode (there are 4 modes). It took me a while to set this up because A. I'm not an expert on wireless and B. Neither TP nor Nikon had any knowledge or using this in conjunction with my camera, so I was on my own. TP is sitting on a gold mine and doesn't even know it - they should be marketing this to the D4 crowd.
6161 comments|39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 6, 2012
I really like this device the setup page is good. The only thing is that it is not compatible with many 3G USB modems. I tried 2 different ones from Verizon and neither worked. Tech support is great fast email response on issues.
I travel all over the world and needed a device that I can connect all of my WiFi gear without having to buy more than one internet connection at the hotel. It works flawlessly. I also like that I can connect an Ethernet cable so when I hold seminars I can have the whole group connected.
The battery is great, I can use it to charge my phone if needed.
I give it 5 stars even though I can't use my 3G USB modem.
44 comments|25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 20, 2013
I sometimes need to program a circuit board in the field that has an ethernet jack on it. Before I'd have to have my laptop close to it so I could connect it to the circuit board.

Now I just connect this guy to the circuit board and my laptop can communicate to the board wirelessly. Using it as a wireless bridge and it having batteries is very convenient. Works perfectly.
11 comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon March 28, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had ordered a Medialink wifi router just a week before I got this as a part of Amazon vine.

Now, I regret that I had to order the bulky expensive router while this mini gadget is working wonderfully. To begin with, I had low expectations about this device since I had a bad experience with a Linksys portable router which I had bought 5 years back. In order to be 100% sure that this router was as good as the medialink router I did a couple of tests

(1) Connect 2 laptops to the wifi router
(2) Connected 2 iphones to the wifie router
(3) Tested download and upload speeds from a 10' distance
(4) Tested download and upload speeds from a 20' distance across 3 walls

What I noticed is that there was practically no difference in the speed or performance between the medialink wifi router and this mini wonder.

The only caveat is that this one does not have any additional LAN/Ethernet/RJ-45 ports if you want to connect a vonage/ooma or any other IP Phone.

But the biggest Plus point of this router is that this one has 3G connector which means you can connect your 3G dongle and get wifi anywhere including your car.

The Power plug for this router is designed in a way that it can be plugged into your car adapter (via USB)

Overall - a very versatile (3G + LAN), compact router which can beat any expensive router in price and performance.
0Comment|25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Capacity: Battery Powered|Model: N150|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Noticed I didn't write mini-router, because in spite of its small size it performs as well as a regular size router, but it has many more capabilities. Some of the most important ones are the following: It's portable, and it comes with a Lithium 2000mAh chargeable battery, it supports 3G Router Mode, WISP Client Router Mode, Wireless Router Mode, Access Point, Repeater, Bridge with Access Point and Client. It includes a 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet port, and one micro USB port, and it's compatible with iPad, iTouch, Android Phone, Kindle and the majority portable WiFi devices.

It also comes with a complete command control panel or web management page that can be access with any browser by typing [...] in the address bar. It can be easy to setup by choosing Quick Setup or if one needs it, it can be set in a custom detailed way using many security features like parental control or WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK authentication, and TKIP/AES encryption security. I uploaded a screen shot of the web management page where the many options are displayed.

My favorite mode is the WISP Client Router Mode because in this mode, the TL-MR3040 is wirelessly connected to the WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) or Access Point and it can share the internet to multiple users. In this instance the TL-MR3040 acts as a wireless adapter, catching the wireless WiFi signal from any Access Point and sharing it. It's my preferred method of using the TL-MR3040, mainly due to the fact that I can plug the TL-MR3040 into the Ethernet port of a laptop or a netbook, leaving the USB ports free to use with other devices while reaching the maximum speed, which in this case is up to 150Mbps - one that excels what the integrated wireless adapter in the device can provide.

I got it because I wanted a router that I could use with my Virgin Mobile 3G. The service can be expensive, but at least, I always have a good connection at any time, and anywhere. I added the TL-MR3040 to my emergency kit list because it can be charged like a smartphone, using a solar system charger, or with a car battery using an inverter. This was tested in the most unexpected way after a storm, when we spent a few days without electricity and without our regular Internet connection. I already had the Virgin Mobile 3G for about a year, and it has been useful during previous storms, but during those, I also learned that having a child who is bored and wants to go online, is another issue to deal with during a power outage. So, the TL-MR3040 can be a stress suppressor by allowing to share Internet with the rest of the family at all times.

Please keep in mind that like every gadget which uses a Lithium battery, you need to keep charging and discharging the TL-MR3040 battery in order to keep it alive. Using the modem while traveling and storing it after coming home until the next time you need it, might result in a dead battery. So, just use it once in a while around the house. It's a good way to share a connection with friends or family members that are visiting during the weekend, for example.
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0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 19, 2013
PROs:

- Fast data throughput from 4G LTE modem to WiFi connected devices;
- Extremely light and compact travel router (powered by USB from laptop or even portable battery pack);
- Great price;
- Can be used for Macbook, PC Laptop, iPhone, iPad and Android phones;
- Limited use for media streaming of music and movies from Macbook to TV, using Airplay/AirParrot and Apple TV 3Gen

CONs:

- Unreliable network(ie. signal drop/disconnect or cannot connect to WiFi) when multiple devices connected ( > 5 devices);
- Average antenna strength;
- 150 Mbp/s wireless N not adequate for family media streaming and online gaming, or using Plex Media Server;
- Advanced network features like Port Forwarding and uPnP hard to setup and poorly implemented;
- Poor LAN connectivity (ie. slow and unreliable)through single 10/100T LAN port.

IN DEPTH:

The Good
I use this router to get wifi from my 4G LTE modem (ZTE MF820) to all my wireless devices - Macbook, PC Laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android phone (Samsung Note), Apple TV and a Synology NAS 413j.

As a basic 4G wifi router, this device is excellent. I regularly get download speeds of around 15-20 MBp/s throughput from my 4G LTE modem over wifi. This makes this device more than capable for handling basic internet browsing, downloads, and acceptable for online multimedia viewing on my computers and wireless devices from Netflix and Hulu+.

I've even used this router to stream music and video content from my Macbook to Apple TV via Airplay and Air Parrot without issue (as long as no other devices are using the Wifi - see below). 4G LTE ----> Router --wireless--> Laptop --wireless--> Router --wireless--> Apple TV is okay.

As a personal or travel router, this device is unmatched at this price point, given its extremely light and compact size (can fit in palm and as light as a candy bar), and competitive price. It even runs off a portable USB battery charger (used to charge mobile accessories) to give wifi on the road.

The Bad
Things start to go pear shaped when you want to use this router as a home router replacement or network hub.

I connected a Synology NAS 413j to this device both through the 10/100T LAN port and wireless. Transfer speeds over LAN
(ie. Laptop --wireless--> Router --Cat5e cable-> Synology NAS) to and from my Laptop were barely acceptable at around 2 Mbp/s.

I gave up on the wireless as it was so slow (ie. Laptop --wireless--> Router --wireless-->NAS) at around 300 KBp/s.

However, the biggest problem I have noticed, is that when more than 3 or 4 devices are wireless connected, or when there is a device connected to the LAN port of the router, the network becomes very unstable. My internet and network keeps on dropping out, and the speed between devices becomes unacceptably slow. This is evident when I try to stream multimedia TV and music contect over Plex Server from my Macbook or PC to iPad etc. When only two devices are using the Wifi (for Plex) its fine, but as soon as other devices are connected for internet browsing etc. speeds become intolerably slow and unstable.

Advanced router features like port forwarding and uPnP are also hard to setup and not well implemented (couldn't get them to work with my Plex server or NAS file servers).

I've upgraded to a wireless N 300Mbp/s (TP Link MR 3420) and these issues have gone, so my only conclusion is that the 150 Mbp/s wireless N and 10/100T LAN port, do not really support high bandwidth or advanced network usage (ie. media streaming or multiple online gaming clients).

CONCLUSION:

As a home network hub or home router replacement, the 150 Mbp/s wireless N and single 10/100T WAN/LAN port do not give adequate or reliable throughput. When several devices are wireless connected, the wireless signal slows down significantly and becomes very unstable (ie. dropped signals). Single device streaming over Airplay is adequate, but Plex Media streaming, or online gaming and media streaming when multiple devices are wirelessly connected is very slow.

As a personal or travel router however - for which this unit I think was actually designed - to convert a 4G LTE modem or wired ethernet to Wifi, this router is fabulous. It gives fast throughput from 4G LTE to single connected devices, for web browsing, online media viewing and limited media streaming, at an unbeatable price.
11 comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2013
If you intend to use this product as a 3G/4G router, stop reading this review.

For Android users, loading this router with OpenWRT with ddserver installed (do a Web search for "DSLR Dashboard and MR3040"), this makes an excellent choice for remotely controlling a DSLR camera (I use it with a Nikon D5100). Don't be fooled by the "CamRanger"; if you're an Android user, you don't need it (notice how much it resembles this router; that's because it IS this router, but loaded with proprietary firmware).

Cost for an Android user to remote control Nikon (and some Canon) DSLRs? <$40

Cost for an iOS user? $299.99 (using the "CamRanger," since it's the only option at this time).
22 comments|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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